9 Things You Should Never Say to Someone Who Doesn’t Drink

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For many, unwinding at the end of a long day often involves a glass of wine or a cold beer — and that’s generally fine. However, alcohol has cemented its role in social settings so much that when a teetotaler orders sparkling water at a party or meet-up, it often triggers a flurry of well-meaning but inappropriate questions. We’ve compiled a list of nine faux pas on the rocks that drinkers should avoid when around a Sober Sally.

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1. ‘Why Don’t You Drink?’

This is the same as asking why someone’s wearing shoes — probably for protection, definitely personal, and none of your business. Additionally, probing into someone’s personal choices might also touch on sensitive health issues or past struggles with alcohol. Moreover, some might abstain for religious or philosophical reasons. Asking this can inadvertently put someone on the spot to share more about their personal life than they’re comfortable with. Also, non-drinkers aren’t asking why you drink — so it’s only fair to respect their choice, just as they respect yours.

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2. ‘Drinking Helps Loosen Up, You Know?’

First of all, let’s talk tomorrow morning and see how loose y’all are. Second: Sure, a drink might help some unwind, but not everyone needs a cocktail to chill out. Many have mastered the art of relaxing and socializing on their own terms. That kind of independence can be more refreshing than any beverage on the menu. Let’s make room for everyone to mingle in their own style, drink in hand or not.

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3. ‘Come On, Just One Won’t Hurt.’

If you’re afraid of heights or just dislike them, would you go bungee jumping? “Come on, one jump won’t hurt.” This might seem like an extreme comparison, but non-drinkers face this kind of annoying peer pressure every time they’re at a boozy gathering. For someone who has chosen not to drink, even one drink could indeed be harmful. Some people stop drinking because of addiction, and for them, one drink can lead to countless others. Others folks simply operate better on dry land, no matter how inviting the pool party looks.

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4. ‘You Must Be So Boring at Parties.’

 It’s quite amusing to think that fun is often measured by how much one drinks. The reality is that the person who doesn’t need alcohol to loosen up or crack a joke is likely bringing a different, perhaps sharper kind of fun to the party. Needing a fermented drink to become interesting? Now, that might just say more about the critic than the criticized.

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5. ‘You’re Missing Out!’

Missing out on what, exactly? The headaches? The hangovers? The self-loathing? This statement is very dismissive and undermines the personal and significant reasons someone might choose not to indulge in alcohol, whether due to health, ethics, or personal preference. Suggesting they’re missing something essential not only questions their decision but also pressures them to conform to social drinking norms.

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6. ‘What Do You Even Do for Fun?’

Oh, you mean besides saving my liver from working overtime? Plenty! Asking someone who doesn’t drink this question might sound like fun needs to involve alcohol. But really, there are so many ways to have a good time.

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7. ‘Do You Mind If I Drink?’

While seemingly polite, this is an odd question, really. Non-drinkers usually don’t mind if others drink around them — they’ve made a personal choice, not a judgment on others’ choices. So, there’s no need to spotlight their sobriety or treat it like a delicate subject. 

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8. ‘Can You Drive Me Home?’

Sure, should I also swing by your office tomorrow and cover your shift while you recover? While it’s practical to think the non-drinker might be the default chauffeur, this question can seem a bit like they’re only at the party for their designated-driver services. Non-drinkers often don’t mind helping out, but it’s good to remember they’re there to enjoy the festivities too, not just to clock in as the night’s free taxi service.

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9. ‘I Could Never Do That.’

Well, not all heroes wear a cape, you know. But seriously, this might sound like a compliment, but it really is not — it sets non-drinkers apart as though they’re a different breed. Choosing not to drink isn’t about possessing extraordinary willpower — it’s just a personal decision, like skipping dessert or not watching reality TV. There’s no need for amazement here; it’s just another way to live.


This article was produced and syndicated by MediaFeed.

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